Food Committee announces new snacks for spring

By Alexa Bakalarski / Staff Writer

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Students and Sodexo employees celebrated new installments in Pitt’s dining experience — a new Market Central executive chef and Starbucks vending machines — at the first Food Committee meeting of the semester.

The Student Government Board’s Food Committee met in the William Pitt Union Lower Lounge 1 p.m. Friday, where SGB members Jacky Chen and Megan Murphy and Sodexo Resident District Manager Abdou Cole  gave updates and collected suggestions from students.

Chen and Murphy introduced changes in on-campus food that Sodexo — the company that provides Pitt’s dining hall and cafe food — implemented recently. Here are a few takeaways:

Market Central announces new executive chef

Christopher Cox introduced himself as the new full-time executive chef for Market Central, beginning this semester. Cox said he looks forward to incorporating more “real food” — meaning fresh, local and sustainable produce — into dining services at Market Central this semester. Cox also said he wants to purchase fresh produce from local purveyors and, when possible, make items from scratch.

Pitt Dining Services reduces paper product

The Choose to Reuse program, which offers food in reusable plastic containers instead of disposable containers, will begin in fall 2016 in an effort to reduce the use of paper products. Students can return used containers to dining spots on campus, like Market Central, for cleaning and then reuse them.  According to Caitlin McMahon, marketing coordinator for dining services, students might have to pay a one-time fee for the program, though Pitt had not set one as of Friday.

Less Meat Mondays offer vegan options at Market Central

Pitt Dining Services announced the start of Less Meat Mondays, beginning this semester. Vegan options will replace some meat options at different stations in Market Central every Monday. The first full-scale Less Meat Monday takes place Monday, Jan. 25.

University will install Starbucks vending machines

In response to a student comment about the often-inopportune hours of Pennsylvania Hall’s coffee cart, Keith Bauman, general manager of resident dining, said Pitt Dining Services wants to install a Starbucks vending machine in the dorm building. Bauman didn’t have a date for the installation as of Friday. Students can use dining dollars at the machines, which will dispense hot coffee, tea and hot water for brewing. According to Bauman, Dining Services may install the vending machines on other parts of campus in the future.

University reintroduces Double Swipe Nights

On Friday nights this semester, students can use two meal swipes for a more upscale meal. Magellan’s, the Market Central international food kiosk, will offer the upscale meals, such as seafood or steak, beginning Friday, Jan. 29, and continuing until finals week.

University announces more celebrations on national food holidays

Pitt Dining Services will emphasize national food celebration days, like Monday’s Irish Coffee Day, by offering thematic specialties like Irish creamer at coffee carts. Other national food celebrations include Blueberry Pancake Day Jan. 28, National Soup Day Feb. 4, and Carrot Cake Day Feb. 3.

The next SGB Food Committee meeting is 1 p.m. Feb. 5, in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room.

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